Hertta Kiiski | On the other side of the Mirror
Hertta Kiiski, Very Core (2023), Install shot at Hyppolite Gallery, Helsinki, Finland. Image by Milla Talassalo
Hertta Kiiski’s artistic reputation is based on the use of a fascinating visual language that intertwines familiar daily encounters with imaginary others. Turku-based Hertta Kiiski is a Finnish photographer, videographer, and installation artist who uses live performances, textiles, installations, and nature to illustrate and enrich speculative stories on excavating and unfolding empowering relationships between people and the non-human world. Hertta Kiiski’s work ranges from analog snapshots to staged and digitally altered portraits and her work addresses the complexity of our connection to the planet.
Central to Kiiski’s artistic narrative is a foundation of love – a representation of the complicated interrelationships between humans and entities outside humans. Kiiski’s work encompasses more than colourful pleasing visual aesthetics, as with her work she creates spaces designed for profound sensory experiences of seeing, breathing and listening. Her approach is characterised by dedicated and engaged hospitality, an acute sensitivity to space, and a dramaturgical touch that adds depth to her artistic expression.
Through storytelling, Hertta Kiiski actively explores and strengthens relationships, fostering a deep sense of connection and understanding between the human and non-human worlds. One may experience her work as a source of opportunities to discover, recognise and nurture these intertwined ties.
Human and non-human
Hertta Kiiski’s practice blends life forms with those of existing or imagined others, depicting the interrelationships between humans, non-humans and overarches time and space. The artist dreams of a newfound affinity between the human and the non-human, while making suggestions for transforming existing hierarchies. Images are familiar yet altered landscapes, plants with eyes, heads levitating in the forest, and eyes depicted on a red-tinted seafloor. Hertta Kiiski’s practice exists and samples the empowerment of youth and love, with aspects of the magical, the mythical, and the esoteric. Like youth itself, Hertta Kiiski’s photographs and installations inhabit a precarious state between daydreaming and unrest.
Following a residency with SEA Foundation in 2020, the exhibition On the other side of the Mirror shows Hertta Kiiski’s work for the first time in the Netherlands.
Hertta Kiiski (1973) works and lives in Turku, Finland. She earned an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts (2015) and a BA in Photography from the Turku Arts Academy (2012). Her work is presented in galleries and museums internationally and in Finland. Her recent solo exhibitions include “VERY CORE” at the Hippolyte Gallery in Helsinki (2023) and “Plasticenta” at NOON Projects Gallery in Los Angeles (2022). Her solo exhibition “Primeval Soup” took place at the Turku Art Museum in Finland in 2021 and also in 2021 “Milky Way” was shown at the PhotoIreland Festival. Her retrospective solo exhibition called “Violet Sea” was shown at the Finnish Museum of Photography 2019. Hertta KIiski’s second book “I was an apple and I got peeled – but it was a good thing” was published by Kehrer Verlag (DE) in 2016. This was followed in 2023 by a third publication “Otherworld’ with the same publisher.
The artist’s work has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Turku Art Association, and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, amongst others.